THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
POLITICS WILL HAVE NO EFFECT ON AIR JAMAICA DEAL—04/10/10
Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, Audley Shaw, says that the political situation in Trinidad will not affect the deal between Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines. The Prime Minister of Trinidad, Patrick Manning, asked the country’s president to dissolve the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago, making the way easier for elections to be held early. The action has caused some consternation in the industry, and aviation experts have questioned the implications that a change in Trinidad’s government could make on the deal, which has reportedly been finalized.
JAMAICA’S MAHLUNG TO HAVE KEY ROLE IN CLIMATE TALKS—04/11/10
Jamaican Clifford Mahlung has been reappointed to the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism and has been named as the Board’s head. Mahlung is a meteorologist and a senior climate negotiator for Jamaica. The Board oversees the work of the Clean Development Mechanism, which is governed by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The agency is responsible for facilitating the development of projects addressing the sustainability needs of developing nations. One such project is the Wigton Wind Farm in Jamaica.
10,000 JAMAICAN MEN MARCH AGAINST CRIME IN SPANISH TOWN—04/12/10
Thousands of Jamaican men marched for peace in Spanish Town. Their goal is to highlight the constant crime and large number of murders in the area. The crime rate in Jamaica in general is very high, with over 431 murders being committed so far in 2010, including five police officers. Comparatively, Trinidad and Tobago has had only 131 murders during the same period.
KERN SPENCER GOES TO COURT—04/12/10
Kern Spencer, Jamaica’s former junior energy minister, appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate court in connection with the trial involving breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act. Spencer and Coleen Wright, his former personal assistant, are charged with corruption activities related to the distribution of 4 million free light bulbs that were a gift from Cuba’s government. The light bulbs ultimately cost taxpayers in Jamaica several million dollars.
MOUNT VERNON HIGH SCHOOL WALL COLLAPSES—04/13/10
A wall in the auditorium at Mount Vernon High School collapsed, causing administrators to cancel classes for a day. The wall fell after 4:30 pm, and there were no injuries, although some students were in the building participating in after-school activities. No children or school staff members were in the auditorium itself, however.
GOVERNMENT IMPROVES SERVICES FOR PHARMACY AND DIALYSIS—04/14/10
Ruddy Spencer, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, said that the government is looking to improve the public’s access to pharmacy and dialysis services. The services will be expanded to handle an increased demand resulting from the abolition of user fees at public health facilities. Spencer also said that actions have been taken to augment the number of pharmacy and dialysis technicians. Since the free health policy was implemented in 2008, there has been a 44 percent increase in visits to pharmacies.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DROPS AMONG JAMAICANS—04/15/10
There has been a significant decrease in the confidence of Jamaica’s consumers, according to a survey by the Jamaica Conference Board. The decline was attributed to growing concerns about job and income potential in the future. The index of consumer confidence totaled 90.8 during the first quarter of 2010, a decrease from 102.1 in the fourth quarter of 2009.
EXTRADITIONS ON THE INCREASE—04/16/10
A total of 18 Jamaicans were extradited in 2009, while the administration of Prime Minister Bruce Golding battled the government of the United States over that nation’s request to extradite Christopher “Dudus” Coke, Kingston strongman. Fifteen Jamaicans were extradited to the United States, two to Canada, and one to the United Kingdom in 2008. In 2009, 10 of the 18 individuals extradited were wanted in other countries on narcotics charges, five on murder charges, two for fraud, and one for first-degree assault. Golding’s administration refuses to sign the request for Coke, however, who faces drug and firearms charges.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
100 PERSONS INSPIRED BY “DEADLY INSTINCTS”—04/10/10
An estimated 100 individuals were impacted by Racquel Brown Gaston’s suspense thriller “Deadly Instincts” to gather at a venue in New York City where the Jamaican-born author introduced her first book at an event hosted by the Jamaican Consulate. Deputy Consular General Tracey made the official welcome to the event. Most guests were from the Diaspora, including Patrick Beckford of the Diaspora Advisory Board.
JAMAICAN-BORN MAGISTRATE SHOT IN ST. LUCIA—04/11/10
Police in St. Lucia are investigating the shooting of Ann Marie Smith, city magistrate, by two masked gunmen in Castries. Smith has worked in the area since 2006 and was shot and wounded in the leg as she entered her car with her four-year-old daughter. The attackers, who had fired from the bushes, fled the area on foot after Smith’s landlord shot his gun in their direction. No arrests have yet been made.
RESEARCHER FINDS CANCER FIGHTERS IN JAMAICAN JERK SAUCE—04/12/10
Dr. Raymond Thomas, a Jamaican biologist at the University of Western Ontario in Canada has found a significant level of cancer-preventing anti-oxidants in several food sauces, including one Jamaican jerk sauce. Anti-oxidants are thought to have a role in preventing cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. The processing and cooking of the sauces can affect their anti-oxidant properties, but according to Thomas’s research, adding the sauces provides significant health benefits when compared to cooking meat without them.
GROUP OF IMMIGRANTS HELD IN FLORIDA INCLUDE SIX JAMAICANS—04/14/10
According to law enforcement officials in Florida, citizens from two Caribbean Community nations are facing deportation after being caught with a boatload of individuals landing illegally at a Fort Lauderdale beach. Those detained by immigration authorities included Jamaicans, Haitians, and Sri Lankans. About $11,000 in American and Bahamian currency was found on the boat as well.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY TO VISIT CARIBBEAN—04/11/10
SHAKIRA VISIT CHILDREN IN HAITI—04/12/10
MICHELLE OBAMA VISITS HAITI—04/13/10
WORLD’S DEEPEST UNDERSEA VOLCANIC VENT FOUND BY ROBOT SUB—04/14/10
NO OCEAN DUMPING, SAY CARIBBEAN NATIONS—04/15/10
2010 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON TO BE “ABOVE AVERAGE”—04/16/10
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BOLT WILL RUN FIRST 200 METERS IN KINGSTON—04/10/10
Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, will run the first 200-meter race of the 2010 season on May 1 at the Jamaica International Invitational. He will face Wallace Spearmon, sprinter from the United States. According to the director of the meet, Donald Quarrie, officials are looking forward to the match between Bolt and Spearmon.
BOLT TO HEADLINE MEET IN SHANGHAI—04/12/10
Usain Bolt, Olympic gold medalist and record-breaking sprinter, will headline the Shanghai meet of the IAAF Diamond League circuit on May 23, 2010. Leading the participants at the meet along with Bolt will be Chinese star hurdler Liu Xiang. This will be the first meet on the new 14-meet Diamond League circuit for Bolt.
JAMAICAN TO HOST TOP FEMALE GOLFERS—04/13/10
Jamaica will host 16 of the top women’s golfers in the world at the first international golf tournament to be held on the island in nearly 20 years. The Mojo 6 Golf Tournament will take place at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course in Rose Hall, Montego Bay April 15-16. The event is sponsored by the Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd. and is likely to refocus attention on the island as a world-class golf destination.
TRELAWNY STADIUM TO GET BASEBALL DIAMOND—04/15/10
Plans are in motion to create a baseball diamond at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium in the near future. Negotiations between the Jamaican government and officials of U.S.-based Major League Baseball (MLB) are moving in the right direction for the field to be built. The Jamaican facility is located in Florence Hall and has been labeled by some as an under-utilized venue. The area is scheduled to become the hub of Jamaica’s baseball activities, according to Sports Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange. The new diamond will be the focus point of her ministry’s plan to create a strong baseball program in Jamaica. The island’s government will bear no cost for the diamond, which will be financed chiefly by MLB’s Latin America and Caribbean agencies.
Paul’s letter to the Romans is a fascinating one. Long considered “The Gospel Manifesto”, I hold the view that it is difficult, if not impossible, to live the Christian life in its fullness without having a basic understanding of it. If you have not read this book in its entirety, I encourage you to do so for an insight into the awesomeness of God’s grace, and our exalted position in Christ. Nestled in Chapter 8 are two verses that I believe, next to our salvation, point to God’s priority regarding His children: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (vv. 28, 29).
Most of us have struggled with verse 28, but since Paul wrote it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, then we have to be comforted by it even if we don’t understand it. The book of Job helps us to understand that things that happen to the children of God are sovereignly allowed by Him, and Paul reaffirms that the good, bad, and indifferent things all work for our good, according to the purposes of God. But just exactly what is that purpose? The answer we find in the next verse, especially in the words, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son”. I quite like Matthew Henry’s concise commentary on this portion of the text: “Here is the order of the causes of our salvation, a golden chain, one which cannot be broken. 1. Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. All that God designed for glory and happiness as the end, he decreed to grace and holiness as the way. The whole human race deserved destruction; but for reasons not perfectly known to us, God determined to recover some by regeneration and the power of his grace. He predestinated, or before decreed, that they should be conformed to the image of his Son. In this life they are in part renewed, and walk in his steps.”
Renewed and walking in his [Christ’s] steps. That is God’s priority for us. Some may ask: “What about our day to day existence?”; “Doesn’t God care if we can pay our bills or not, or if we have somewhere to live?” To all those questions we answer with a resounding “Yes, He does care!” Jesus made that clear when said our Heavenly Father knows we have need of those things, but He emphasized the priority was not those material things but rather to seek first the kingdom of God; once we got that right, then the rest of things would be added (Matthew 6:25-33).
God’s priority is not our immediate material comfort, but rather that we become conformed [similar, identical] to the image of Christ. Are you cooperating with Him toward that end?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.